Let the Best Parts of You Shine Through

Ink on watercolor paper – Words: Maria Tallchief

Maybe I need to do ‘X’ and then I will have all the pieces. Sometimes it can feel like the more we excel the more holes we see in ourselves. Or maybe the holes we see today are the ones we have been avoiding in our past? There could be another way to look at this, as Maria Tallchief tells us. Maybe our ‘perfection’ is not reached by adding, it is attained by having nothing left to remove.

She grew up in Fairfax, Oklahoma the daughter of a poor farmer’s daughter and a father who was a member of the Osage Nation. She and her sister showed an interest in dance, so their mother sent them to ballet classes. When Maria excelled in dance, the family moved to Los Angelos so she could study. After graduating high school Maria moved to New York to pursue ballet full time. She was selected to apprentice with the Ballet Russe, the premier Russian ballet company in the US. Many people told her to change her name so ballet companies would not discriminate against her, she refused. In 1947 she became the first American to be the premier ballerina in the New York City ballet. She spoke out against discrimination, broke barriers for Native Americans and became one of the only Americans to dance as the reigning prima ballerina in her era. There was nothing left to remove, she had perfected her craft and opened doors for generations of women to come.

None of us are perfect, yet a prima ballerina is one of those roles that demands perfection in every move, gesture and movement. I was encouraged by Maria Tallchief’s words, that perfection is not about adding it is about removing. Leaving our scars, faults and habits behind us in order to move forward unencumbered and free. That means letting go of those old tapes and flaws we work through, and daring to believe that we can be better tomorrow than we are today. Some days that is harder to believe than others.

Let today be the day you willingly remove that roadblock from your world, the one that has come to define you. Dare to believe that your perfection is actually less than you think, which means more of the best parts of you will shine through.

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